Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tired = Grouchy

And another thing . . .

. . . let us just say that I am a better, happier, more nurturing mom when I've had sufficient sleep, and I didn't get much of it last night.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reins and the Dog Pile

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Joy spending her first morning of fall break telling me she'd rather be at school because there's nothing to do at home.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip tending Todd this morning so I could sleep a couple extra hours.  It felt so good to hand the reins to someone else for a little while.

And another thing . . .

. . . overheard in our front room tonight:

Phillip:  All right.  The rules for dog-piling Daddy are 1) No hitting, and 2) No kicking.  OK?
Joy and Daniel: OK!
Phillip: [Grunt] And no jumping on my head!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey, Trees, and Tinkerbell

Over the past few days . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Todd waking up every 90 minutes or so in the night.  I felt like I would just get back to sleep, then he'd wake me up again.

. . . running an errand to Rite Aid, and discovering that they're already selling Christmas trees.  For goodness' sake, we're not even past Thanksgiving!  As I strolled past candy canes, nutcrackers, and random Christmasy flubbdubbery, I heard Bing Crosby croon "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" over their sound system and thought, "Bing, you are not kidding."

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . the big kids staging a light saber duel between Lego Star Wars Darth Maul (Daniel) and Finn McMissile.  It was the weirdest mashup I'd ever heard of until ten minutes later, when Joy proposed a duel between Darth Vader and Tinkerbell.  Daniel refused to go along with that one.

. . . cuddling Todd while tickling Anna.  It doesn't get much better than that.

And another thing . . .

. . . for a few years now, I've wanted to try cooking a Thanksgiving feast for our little family.  Maybe I'm crazy, since relatives on both sides are perfectly willing to do the task for me, but for some reason I really wanted to try cooking turkey and some sides, just to see how it would all turn out.  This past weekend I prepped a bunch of things beforehand and my husband agreed to watch the kids while I prepared a turkey breast in the pressure cooker, mashed potatoes on the stove, sweet potato casserole in the oven, broccoli in the microwave and grapes . . . in the fridge.

The turkey was a little tough and stringy (preparing turkey is an art, and I think I'm still at the fingerpainting stage), but it was edible and the other things turned out well.  It was satisfying to have pulled the whole thing off, and our family enjoyed taking turns talking about what we're grateful for (e.g. the Gospel, good music, and eyeballs).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Charles and a Book

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . recalling a photo of Prince Charles I saw recently.  He was seated in a lawn chair, and the accompanying caption said simply, "Reigning Outside."

. . . attending a book group meeting.  Food for thought, and a few good laughs.  Both did me good.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rain, Broccoli, and a Playful Trio

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up from a nap and yearning for more sleep.  I really need to get to bed earlier.  Fortunately, this evening Phillip rigged the computer to lock down at 11pm every night.  Hopefully that will help. 

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . the three oldest kids playing together.  Daniel and Anna would wait in the kitchen while Joy hid some toys in the back rooms, then at her signal they would hurry back to find the toys she had hidden.  It's the first time I can recall the three of them together.  Perhaps it's because  little Anna has progressed verbally and socially to the point that she can join in the big kids' games.

. . . hearing rain fall outside on a cool, autumn evening.

And another thing . . .

. . . a friend brought us dinner tonight, and the menu included steamed broccoli.  Joy exclaimed that she liked broccoli, and put a heaping scoop of it on her plate.  Who knew???  I'll have to start making broccoli more often.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Botany Lesson and a Dance Party

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Anna being a two-year-old in the sense that she is determined to get what she wants, and doesn't comprehend that she can't have it.  She thinks if she asks a dozen times then screams at the top of her lungs, it will somehow change the answer.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending the annual boy scout pancake breakfast fundraiser.  The food was better than usual, but the real fun was chatting with friends there.

. . . taking a little nap with Todd.  To sleep, perchance to dream.

. . . Anna clapping her hands and shouting, "Yay!" as we played with a board game.  I'm still not sure what she was so excited about, but it was cute to see her so animated.

. . . explaining the difference between annuals and perennials to Joy as we ate ice cream at Rite Aid.

. . . having an impromptu Hendrickson dance party.  Todd got a bit fussy this evening so I stood up and danced to some music while he nestled in the sling.  Phillip got up and danced with me, then Joy asked him to twirl her like he had twirled me, and soon Daniel and Anna wanted to be twirled, too.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Toddler Smiles and Baby Feet

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . noticing that my local Trader Joe's had finally gotten chocolate star cookies for the holidays, but they're currently sold out of them.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . the kids getting excited whenever little Todd woke up.

. . . seeing Anna smile.

. . . going to dinner with some friends.  Todd's naps are still unpredictable, but he consistently goes down for the night at 7pm (waking to nurse and then sleep again every three hours or so), for which I'm very grateful.

. . . snuggling my baby boy's soft, fuzzy hair, and admiring his tiny little toes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Words and a Pain in the Neck

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my neck muscles aching like crazy because I keep nodding off while feeding Todd in the middle of the night. 

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing with the three big kids this evening.  They came home from Red Grandma's house today, and it was nice to have them home and see them be excited about their little brother.  We played some games, ate grilled cheese sandwiches, and generally enjoyed a low-key evening together.

And another thing . . .

. . . Todd is a week old today, and I still occasionally call him "Daniel" because for nearly five years "Daniel" has been my word for "son."  My brain is still getting used to the fact that it has to specify which son I'm talking about.

. . . I am absolutely amazed at how much Anna's vocabulary is growing.  She is learning and using dozens of new words, and pronouncing old ones better.  She really isn't a baby anymore, but she still loves to snuggle, for which I am very grateful.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Fox Pup in Autumn

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  my upper back muscles getting worn out as they re-adapt to normal posture postpartum.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . relaxing on the lawn with Todd while autumn leaves fluttered down around us.

. . . calling Todd little nicknames like Milk Man, Toddaroo, and Fox Pup (Todd means "fox" in Middle English).

And another thing . . .

. . . caring for a new baby totally overwhelmed me when I first attempted it seven years ago.  Today, as I cared for my fourth newborn while the other three kids are away at Red Grandma's, I kept marveling at how easy it actually is to care for a little baby when you know what you're doing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rest, Errands, and General Cuteness

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . going to the grocery store specifically for a certain thing, then getting home to find that it somehow didn't make it from the cash register to my car.  Todd was already down for a nap by the time I made this discovery, so I guess the store just gets to keep it.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sleeping in until 10:30am (thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking the big kids for the weekend).  I felt normal for the first time in days, and it was nice to look in the mirror and see a woman instead of a zombie.

. . . going to the store with Todd.  He was content in the sling, and I found that successfully running a few errands made my life feel more normal.  I'm still a bit nervous about how things will go when the other three kids come home, but I know I'll figure it out, just like I did the other three times a new baby joined our family.

. . . imbibing the sweetness of tiny baby feet, soft baby hair, a little baby nose (which looks a lot like his brother's), and kissable baby cheeks.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hello, Baby

As we've welcomed Baby Todd into our family this week . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . major sleep deprivation.

. . .  being reminded at multiple diaper changes that baby boys come equipped with a hydrocannon.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . snuggling with Todd as he made little baby sounds.  They kind of reminded of Abu from Disney's Aladdin.

. . . getting so much help from our friends and family.  Bless them.

. . . praying for divine help and receiving it when I needed it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Spirit and the Deconstructed Bug

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy's first grade teacher singing along with "Flying Purple People Eater" during the school's Halloween parade.

. . . accompanying my big kids as they went trick-or-treating tonight.  I love seeing the creativity and generosity as neighbors and strangers celebrate Halloween together.  I'm so glad Baby Boy waited this long so I could join the big kids in their holiday activities. 

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy's pill bug costume evolved a lot as she got ready for school this morning.  She initially envisioned black clothes, black antennae, a black painted face, and pipe cleaner legs attached to her sides.  As the morning progressed she decided that she didn't want to deal with face paint, and the legs were too much of a hassle (she took them off on the drive to school), so she arrived at her class with just black clothes and antennae.  No one would guess that she was a pill bug, but she was very happy with the way things turned out and that's what matters most.